What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is an increasingly popular aspect of digital marketing in Belfast. This involves an endorser or ‘influencer’ who offers product mentions and tags in their posts. They post on their personal social media pages. Influencer marketing began with celebrities as the third-party endorsers of products and services. It has since transformed into a phenomenon. More ‘traditional’ influencers such as Zoe Sugg (Zoella) have demonstrated how influencers transformed the Internet. 62% of consumers now trust the opinions and recommendations of influencers more than celebrities (YouGov).
What makes someone an influencer?
There is no single definition of what an influencer is. In general, influencers are people who have specific knowledge of your product, niche or industry. A common misconception is that influencers must have thousands of followers and an expansive reach on social media. This is not necessarily the case as there are several ‘categories’ of influencers:
- Industry leaders and experts
- Micro influencers – people who make an impact on social media
- Bloggers and content creators
Yes, celebrities, industry leaders and some content creators have large, expansive followings on social media. However, micro-influencers are those who do not have an abundance of followers. These influencers are different. They have a smaller following in comparison. However, they have a strong relationship with their followers. This means that their followers trust their opinions and recommendations on their areas of content creation – for example, fashion, make-up, and cooking. The bottom line is that the following does not have to be record-breaking, but it must be strong.
Therefore, influencer marketing in Belfast is employing someone with a strong social media following to endorse your product or service on their platform.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing in Belfast?
1. Influencers help build trust and credibility
When executed correctly, influencer marketing in Belfast develops the level of trust between your brand and its customers. Inviting an influencer to work with your brand also reduces feelings of cognitive dissonance. This is an ‘internal conflict’ that customers experience when making purchases, particularly those which require more investment and thought.
By improving brand trust and credibility, customers will feel less sceptical about your business. If your audience follows an influencer they deem to be ‘trustworthy’, and the influencer is using your product, your customer will view your brand as more credible. They have watched a real person use your product – they know it works.
Previously, celebrities were the overarching influencers in Belfast and their purchase decisions. However, more recently ‘normal’ people have grown large followings on social media – they are the influencers of today. Modern influencers do not offer a degree of unfamiliarity in the way celebrities do. Many influencers – particularly micro-influencers – work normal jobs and live in normal houses. They are very open about this. Therefore, there is a degree of familiarity – a deeper level of trust in their recommendations is developed.
2. Influencer marketing is cost-effective in relation to potential success
Influencers are the actors and producers of their content. This means that they are significantly cheaper to employ as advertisers for your business as there are no additional production costs involved. There is no need to pay for photographers, locations or videographers. Influencers charge for the production of their content, of course, but this is much lower than a professionally-produced piece.
3. Influencer marketing improves brand awareness
Brand awareness measures how familiar your target audience is with your brand. As well as this, it relates to whether your target audience thinks of your brand when they are considering making a purchase.
Influencer marketing in Belfast acts as modern-day electronic word-of-mouth. Therefore, when you employ an influencer to work with your brand, they are telling thousands of people about your brand. These are people who might not have heard of your brand before. This is an extremely beneficial strategy to implement into your digital marketing plans if you are entering a new market, or you are a small brand in a crowded market.
4. Influencer marketing provides audience insights
This year, Google announced they will not use third-party tracking cookies by the end of 2023. Though this method of tracking is not the only one available, this change means marketers must identify new ways to track their customers.
When you choose to implement influencer marketing into your Belfast business’ strategy, you have access to a wide range of business insights. You can see exactly who is engaged with influencer content, and whether they like, comment on, or share it.
Influencers also have access to a range of insights and analytics on their social media accounts. When they operate using a creator account, they have access to their follow/unfollow and engagement rates. If the influencer you are working with chooses to share this additional information with you, it can be extremely beneficial in helping you reach your target audience.
5. Influencer-generated content has high engagement rates
The influencer you choose should be someone in a similar demographic to your target audience. This means that your target audience relates to the face of your content, and can build a good rapport with them. This is particularly strategic when working in a niche industry. When this close, positive rapport is established, you will reap the benefits of higher engagement rates. Influencer-generated content results in 6.9x higher engagement rates than branded content.
6. Influencer marketing is accessible to all businesses in Belfast
As we know, influencers range in their following and overall popularity – from A-list celebrities to small, micro-influencers. This range is extremely beneficial for businesses as no matter how big your marketing budget is, there will be an accessible influencer. Micro-influencers are extremely effective when used for targeted campaigns for small businesses, as they generally have a much closer relationship with their followers than large influencers.
Invest in influencer marketing for your Belfast business
Influencer marketing is an extremely profitable marketing move to make for your Belfast business. However, it can be difficult to navigate. Whilst there are some risks associated with influencer marketing, you will benefit your business when you implement it into your marketing strategy.
To maximise the benefits of your influencer marketing strategy in Belfast, we recommend working alongside a professional. No matter the scale of your business, our team at Rapid Agency have a wealth of experience and knowledge to help you with your marketing. Get in touch with us today to kickstart your digital marketing strategy.